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Background Screening Basics with Verified First: Frequently Asked Questions

So you’re thinking about starting a background screening program for your organization, or you already have one, but you have some questions about the process. You’ve come to the right place. Background screening can be complicated, but with the right processes and partners in place, it doesn’t have to be!

With help from our friends at Verified First, we’ve compiled the top background screening questions we get from employers into one place. This blog covers background screening basics, types of background checks, frequently asked questions, and more.


Background Check Basics

  1. What’s included in a background check?
    Typical pre-employment background checks include identity verification and criminal records searches, but screening varies depending on industry and specific job requirements. Other common requirements for pre-employment screening can be education and employment verifications, driving records, credit checks, and drug testing.
  2. What information is needed to run a background check?
    Different companies require different information to be collected from the candidate but usually include full name, address, date of birth, and social security number. Other background checks call for the candidate’s driver’s license number and educational and employment history.
  3. What are the legal requirements to run a background check?
    Background checks must be conducted carefully and in compliance with both local and federal regulations. According to the FCRA, employers must obtain permission from candidates or employees prior to running a background check.
    Certain states adhere to different laws, so it’s essential to stay up to date on your company’s specific requirements. For example, states like Michigan and California implemented Clean Slate and Ban the Box laws, affecting screening guidelines for employers hiring in those states. Utilizing a background screening provider can help you maintain federal and state compliance.
  4. How long does a background check take?
    On average, a background check takes between one to three business days, however, the length of time can vary depending on what type of screen is being run. There are several factors that can cause a delay in the screening process as well, including court closures or delays.
  5. How much does it cost to run a background check?
    The cost of a background check depends on the scope and breadth of the potential desired screen. In general, a reliable background screening package that measures up to FRCA standards costs companies between $30-$100, depending on how in-depth your organization wants to screen. A unique package specifically tailored to your organization is the best way to save money, maintain compliance, and improve your hiring efforts. Verified First offers background screening packages specific to many different industries, including a la carte products like drug testing, verifications, I-9, and more.
  6. What if I decide not to hire someone based on the results of a background check?
    Employers that choose not to hire someone based on the results of a background check legally must follow a process known as pre-adverse and adverse action. This includes:

    • Pre-adverse action notice: Before taking adverse action, the employer must provide the candidate with a copy of their consumer report and a summary of their rights under the FCRA.
    • Waiting period: Before proceeding to adverse action, the employer must wait a reasonable amount of time in order to allow the candidate to dispute the accuracy of their consumer report.
    • Adverse action notice: When an employer opts to take adverse action, they must provide candidates with a notice of adverse action, the contact information of the consumer reporting agency, and a copy of the FCRA Summary of Rights.

When choosing to revoke an offer due to the results of their background screening results, we suggest you refer to your legal counsel for specific steps to protect your organization from unfair or non-compliant hiring practices.

Types of Background Checks

What are the different types of background screens I can run?

There are different types of background checks organizations can utilize based on the positions you’re hiring for, company needs, etc. Here are some of the most common background screening options employers leverage:

  1. Criminal background checks for employment search local and national records to identify any criminal records associated with the candidate. Federal crimes have to do with violations of Federal law, whereas county searches return violations of State law.
  2. Education verifications help confirm your candidates’ education history. Verification of education includes: start and finish dates, degree, major, GPA, and honors claimed.
  3. Employment verifications help confirm and gain insight into your candidate’s employment history. Verification of employment includes employment type, position, timeframe, reason for leaving, and eligibility for re-hire.
  4. SSN traces are a database search that provides the year, state of issuance, address, and name history of a particular Social Security Number. These traces can uncover more details than a search by one name or one address.
  5. Sex offender registries in each state allow for the tracking and monitoring of sex offenders following their release back into the community.
  6. Motor vehicle records (MVR) check looks at a candidate’s driving history as a part of the screening process. With an MVR, you find out if a person has any traffic violations, including things that may not show up on a criminal records search.

Background Screening Made Easy

Background checks are key to creating an effective hiring process and ensuring candidate reliability. That’s why it’s important to invest in the right tools to help streamline your talent acquisition strategies. Verified First can help you achieve screening success all in one place. With this 15-second integration, iRecuit users can effortlessly order, review, and manage Verified First’s background screening solutions, including background checks and verifications, without ever leaving the iRecruit platform.

Learn more about how Verified First works with iRecuit here.

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